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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26406
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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My neighbour is poisoning or has poisoned my bamboo and

Customer Question

My neighbour is poisoning or has poisoned my bamboo and grass how do I go about making sure he stops doing this
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: watford area under the Three Rivers Council
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: i went to the council but they have informed me it’s a civil matter and I need to seek support from a solicitor. I have also spoken to the police but they say it’s an environmental issue?
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I do not speak to these neighbours, they have been very threatening in other ways too
Submitted: 10 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 10 days ago.

Hello. Thank you for the question. It is my pleasure to assist your with this today.
I have been in the legal profession, in high street practice, for 30 years so I have wide range of experience in a great many different aspects of law.
Please bear with me and I will be online and off-line from time to time and therefore, may be delayed getting back to you. You will receive an email when I reply.

Expert:  Stuart J replied 10 days ago.

Has this bamboo now travelled into your neighbours garden?

please explain how he is poisoning it?

and what are the other threats?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Hi Stuart, many thanks….I would also like to add that these neighbours have ‘hacked’ the bamboo 2 ft into my garden and beyond the boundary so the height has been shortened by some 3 ft!!
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Two years ago, the last time we talked due to a light that he installed at the front of his house was shining into the back of my house, I asked him to point the shine downwards!
He then said the bamboo was growing into his garden and I must do something about it!
My response was that I would not look after his garden as that was his responsibility but he could dig a trench and put a lining down which would stop it growing into his garden.
He got angry and said he would be a good neighbour and change the light and that I was clearly a bad neighbour!
In the July of that year he built a very high brick wall, according to the council a wall that was acceptable because of the height difference in our gardens, I am left with an ugly breeze block wall whilst he has a brick work designer look!
While he built this wall unbeknown to me at the time he cut down my bamboo, 2ft into my garden and beyond the boundary taking the height down by 3ft. I thought that was all he had done but now it is very apparent that with the leaves falling and the colouring changing to yellow, also the grass half the width of my garden dying that a poisoning of some sort is occurring!!
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
He has 12ft high posts with dog alarms facing into my garden every 10ft or so!
Expert:  Stuart J replied 10 days ago.

You can go to the police (don’t do it on the telephone you will get fobbed off with someone who is not interested) and report criminal damage although the police are likely to come back and say that there is no evidence of who did it.

Notwithstanding that there is no evidence they should have a word with the neighbour.

In a civil court/claim a claimant only has to prove “on the balance of probabilities” that whatever they are saying is correct/true. So it only has to be 1% more likely than not in the civil claim succeeds.

In a criminal prosecution it somewhat different and it has to be proven “beyond all reasonable doubt” which is basically 95/100% certain.

Sometimes matters (such as domestic violence matters) very often end up in the family/divorce/civil court having been marked No Further Action by the police.

That doesn’t mean that whatever is alleged to have happened hasn’t happened. It means there wasn’t enough proof for the police to prosecute. In that case, even though nothing happened with the police, the civil court could decide that it did happen and deal with the matter accordingly.

Incidentally, the police have a default setting “it’s a civil matter” when it actually involves doing any work. They interfere when they shouldn’t and don’t interfere when they should.

This is a criminal damage matter. That’s criminal. Not civil. There may be a civil claim, but that something different altogether. However they can’t do anything about it because you have no evidence that it’s the neighbour.

So while you might not get the police to deal with this is no reason why you could not go to court to claim the cost of the damage from the neighbour on the basis that he’s the only one that could have done this because of where it is located.

It becomes a matter for the Council the neighbour is a council tenant and they are causing nuisance.

If the bamboo is trespassing into his garden he is entitled to cut the pieces off but not go over the boundary. However it is not entitled to kill the plant. But he could actually get someone in and charge you for cutting it and if the route damage anything, you are responsible for that damage. I’m afraid that responsibility for the roots is yours and if he digs a trench and puts aligning down to stop it, he could charge you (through the courts if necessary) for all of that cost.

There is nothing to stop him building a wall with you having the ugly side. You would be at liberty to build your own wall that was pretty.

I’m sorry, I know it’s not the answer you wanted.

Thank you for letting me assist you with your legal question. I am glad that I was able to help.

I am not certain whether that answers the question for you or not, but I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

It will be my pleasure to help you again either further with this or any future questions you have

Kind regards

Stuart

Expert:  Stuart J replied 10 days ago.

It's my pleasure to help. I’m glad that I was able to help so far.

Thank you for trusting Just Answer with your legal problem.

Can I help you any further with this?

I'm happy to clarify anything which is outstanding. Please don't hesitate to ask.

Kind regards

Stuart

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Hi Stuart, I have actually spoken to the Police already and they have told me there is nothing they can do, but after receiving your message I think I shall go back to them….is this the right thing to do?
Expert:  Stuart J replied 10 days ago.

Of course they can do something. They can give him a little visit and tell him that you have made a complaint and that if there is any repetition, they will be holding for interview under caution.

As I said earlier, the default answer is “it’s a civil matter”

By all means tell them you spoken to a solicitor and tell them what the solicitor told you

Please let us know how you get on but I won’t hold my breath that they actually do anything.

Meanwhile, if you don’t have any further questions, I will mark this question thread as complete but don’t worry, the thread stays open if anything else crops up over the course of the next days weeks or months.

I’m glad that I was able to help.

Thank you for trusting Just Answer with your legal problem.

Kind regards

Stuart